GENERAL DOUGLAS MACARTHUR - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 01/18/1935 - HFSID 290436
Sale Price $1,487.50
As US Army Chief of Staff, he writes to his newly appointed French counterpart, General Gamelin, whose military career would prove rather less successful than MacArthur's. Accompanied by a manuscript translation of MacArthur's letter, and by a typed transcript of Gamelin's reply
Typed Letter signed: "Douglas MacArthur" as US Army Chief of Staff, 1 page, 7x8¾. Washington, D.C., 1935 January 18. To "My dear General [Maurice]Gamelin, Chief of Staff, French Army, Paris. In full: "I deeply appreciate your splendid note of comradeship and felicitation, which has just reached me. I think you know without my saying how entirely the American Army and I, myself, personally reciprocate. It is a peculiar pleasure to me to be able at this time to extend my most cordial congratulations on your advancement to head of the French Army. Your friends of the American Army rejoice with you in this signal recognition of your outstanding professional attainments. With renewed expressions of greetings and friendship, very cordially". Accompanied by two items: 1) Manuscript, 2-page copy of MacArthur's letter, translated into French; 2) Typed copy, unsigned of Gamelin's reply, originally dated1935 February 11. In French, translated in full: "I am extremely grateful for the friendly greetings you sent in your name and that of your Army. Amidst the heavy responsibilities of the present, the goodwill of Chiefs such as you is a precious aid. I thank you very much for this new proof that you have given, and ask you to believe these new assurances of my very sincere and cordial sentiments." Douglas MacArthur (1880-1964) graduated #1 in his class at West Point (1903) and rose to brigadier general as a combat leader in France during World War I. He was named US Army Chief of Staff in 1930, and lost popularity by forcibly expelling the Depression era Bonus Army from Washington (1932). Through most of the 1930s, he was chief military advisor to the Philippines, a US protectorate preparing for independence. He commanded U.S. Army forces in the Far East (1941-1942), becoming Allied Supreme Commander in the Southwest Pacific in 1942. In December 1944, he was promoted to 5-star General of the Army. General MacArthur later accepted the surrender of Japan aboard the battleship Missouri on September 2, 1945. As Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers in charge of the Occupation of Japan, MacArthur presided over a sweeping and largely successful transformation of Japan, including a new, democratic constitution. Supreme Commander of United Nations forces in Korea (1950-1951), he was dismissed by President Harry S Truman in April 1951, for his continued public statements advocating extension of the war to Communist China. He supported Republican Dwight Eisenhower's successful Presidential candidacy in 1952, but had little influence on the new President, who negotiated peace in Korea instead of following MacArthur's recommendation to expand the war. After leaving the Army, MacArthur gave two well remembered speeches: his farewell address to the US Congress (1951) and a final speech at West Point (1962). French General Maurice Gamelin (1872-1958) had proven a capable military leader in World War I, credited with a major role in stemming the initial German invasion at the First Battle of the Marne (September 1914). By the 1930s, with France deeply divided politically among factions ranging from communists to royalists, Gamelin's appointment as Chief of Staff seemed a good one. He refused to meddle in politics. His planning and conduct of France's defense in World War II was disastrous, however. The French army remained inactive while Germany conquered Poland, and collapsed in the wake of the German invasion the following year. Gamelin partially redeemed his reputation by his stubborn defiance of the collaborationist Vichy French government following France's defeat. MacArthur, as the young (and twice wounded, much decorated) commander of the 42nd "Rainbow" Division of the US Army in France during World War I, would probably have had personal acquaintance and dealings with General Gamelin, commander of the French 9th Division. Horizontal mailing fold. Corners slightly worn. Evenly toned. Fine condition.
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